Key Point:Despite months of baseless attacks against Governor Hassan's management of state expenditures that were proven false last week, “a NH1 News investigation has revealed when it came to returning money to the Treasury, it was the State Senate that seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.”
When asked why the Senate Republicans had massively overspent their budget, Senate President Chuck Morse said, “I had a lot on my plate last year.”
Click here to see the full NH1 News segment here
See below for a transcription of the segment:
Senate Republicans say Governor Hassan's poor leadership and management led to the state needing to make significant spending cuts. But a NH1 News investigation has revealed when it came to returning money to the Treasury, it was the State Senate that seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.
Budgets are always brought into balance in Concord by getting all of government to return unspent, or lapsed, money to the Treasury. The target for the state government was 3.6% for the past year. Well, according to official documents, the Senate returned 1/10 of 1%, only $2700 to the Treasury.
Governor Hassan's office returned 7.5% of the budget, or twice the target, and the House of Representatives returned 5% of spending. The Senate also spent nearly $15,000 on new or replaced furniture after Governor Hassan had asked the Legislature to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state state travel.
“Then when you see such a very minuscule number, the attack on the Governor by these Republican State Senators has shown to be hollow,”said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley. ”These Senators don't know how to manage their own budget.”
Senate President Chuck Morse said this budget required the legislature to cut an additional $1 million. He said the Senate wound up spending $300,000 less than it could have spent, and $165,000 more than last year. “I had a lot on my plate last year,” Morse said.
This is his first year as Senate Leader, and he dealt with Medicaid Expansion and settling two expensive lawsuits against the state. Morse said Senate spending was not a problem, and warned the state has to close up to an $80 million hole in the next budget. As for furniture, Morse said most of what was bought did not arrive in the Senate offices until this budget year.
With a $2.5 million Senate budget out of a $5 billion state budget, this a drop in the bucket. But as you can see here, this is a pretty good talking point for Governor Maggie Hassan and the Democrats heading out to the election.